Signing up for 2018 Medicare Advantage plans may be easier than you think. They may sound like specialty plans that only a select few can be approved for, but they are actually open to pretty much anyone. There are a few basic requirements for them, and we will cover those here.
First of all, you have to have Medicare already or at least be eligible for Medicare before you can apply. Your application for a Medicare Advantage plan will not be approved until you are signed up for Medicare, specifically Part A and Part B. You may be able to have Part D as well and still sign up for one of the Advantage plans, but with some of them, depending on the network your provider is using, and the coverage they provide, the overlap between Medicare and Medicare Advantage may require you to drop some coverage.
To be eligible for Medicare, you first need to be 65, a US citizen and not be experiencing specific medical conditions, such as end stage renal disease. This is also a requirement for Medicare Advantage. If you were able to sign up for Medicare plan, but then a new medical condition starts afflicting you that would have prevented you from signing up for Medicare in the first place, it will also prevent you from signing up for the 2018 Medicare Advantage plans.
You also have to reside in the service area for which you want to buy a plan for. What you have to understand about Advantage plans is that they only serve specific areas. Each plan is on a network, made up of hospitals, private doctors and more. If there is no medical facility near you that is part of the plan’s network, then you may not be able to assign up for it. This protects you from paying for something that you cannot really use.
You always want to check the network and service area of the plan before you sign up for it. That way, you can ensure that you will be covered when you need to receive medical care. Before you sign up for one of these plans, you also ought to check the coverage and see if you actually need it. Many people are fine with just subscribing to original Medicare. This covers them for what they need. So be sure you actually need an Advantage plan before you go and sign up for one.
The extra coverage may be nice to have, but if you don’t need it, you could just end up wasting your money on it. Some people use these plans as something of a safety net. If something unexpected were to happen to them, the plan would cover them. But it may be cheaper to just pay for those expenses from your own pocket than to pay for one of the 2018 Medicare Advantage plans out of your own pocket month after month and never experience a medical need that would require it. That’s something to keep in mind as you look at these plans and consider their cost and whether they are worth your money.
Compare 2018 Medicare Advantage Plans